Thursday, 13 January 2011

Cygnet 9

video

My first 3D animation - a test for Cygnet 9 (the escape pod for my film Jettisoned). Not bad for my second ever attempt at Blender.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Jettisoned


I'm finally getting round to making my film Jettisoned. I have scripts, plans, storyboards and even finished soundtracks to films I've conceived: Slow Descent (a zombie love story), Red (a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood with a serial killer cast as the big bad wolf), and my original idea for Jettisoned (three astronauts stuck in an escape pod, slowly going mad as they realise they are hurtling towards their inevitable deaths). I have the ideas, but not the time or funding to make them a reality.

I decided that all my ideas were way too grand, and that I needed a shorter idea to actually be able to see it through to the end product. I'm notoriously bad at finishing projects (bloody marvellous at starting them though!) and with Slow Descent and (original) Jettisoned, I have the soundtracks finished - and apart from conceptual art and storyboards - not much else. So with Jettisoned 2.0 I'm doing the difficult stuff first: CGI spaceship and filming. When that's done, I can get on to the stuff I know I can finish because it's what I enjoy most: editing, sound design and music. To keep the shoot short and as cost-free as possible, I'm also acting the main part. Patrick will act the other part (he doesn't know yet, but I'm sure he will do it - any excuse to show off). I have locations and costumes sorted, and am also in the middle of drawing the storyboards. I'm actually doing this the way films are supposed to be made, instead of arse-backwards like I normally do!

I'm even learning 3D modelling to make the escape pod. The premise of the story is this: young astronaut has been jettisoned from his Mothership, The White Swan, in the ninth and last escape pod, Cygnet 9 (a little nod to Plan 9 From Outer Space). The instruments and navicomputer go haywire and he finds that he is stuck on a collison course with a star. There's nothing he can do to change course, and as he realises he's going to die, he starts reminiscing about the relationship he left on Earth. His relationship with a handsome, bespectacled young man (Patrick) ended because he decided to go on this mission. The astronaut (haven't got a name for him yet) has flashbacks of different situations he was in with his boyfriend: walkign in the park, waking up in a tent, having a meal, having sex, reading newspapers in bed... lots of little, inconsequential things. Then he remembers arguing, shouting, and finally waking from hypersleep. Then Cygnet 9 plummets into the heart of a star.

It's quite sad really. But I have some great shots and music in mind, close-ups of light shining through his corneas, slow piano... beautiful. The hardest part will be the establishing shots of Cygnet 9. That's why I'm doing these first, I have to learn how to use a fantastic piece of 3D Modelling software, Blender. It's free and open source. Here its the website. Look how good it can be:



I've been watching lots of sci-fi films for inspiration: Star Wars, Moon, THX 1138, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Planet of the Apes...

The image at the top of the screen is my very first attempt at using Blender, not bad for a few hours work. I'm planning to have the film ready for June 23rd, my birthday. Wish me luck!
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